“Maintain our leadership
in the marketing and distribution of agricultural and hardware products,
construction materials and horticultural products and to provide
continuous advantages to our members and clients”.
Hardware and building materials department
The goals of the Hardware and Building Materials Department may
be summarized by the 5Gs : Good products, Good prices, Good margins,
Great Service, Great stores. Our first priority is the client, to
provide better services to the retailer but also to the end-consumer.
The nerve centre of the Hardware and Building Materials Department
is located in Trois-Rivières. It services almost 160 hardware
stores and renovation centres under the CO-OP banner. To this,
we add over one hundred more clients under various other banners.
The client base spans the whole of Quebec, New Brunswick and Eastern
Ontario. The target market is located mostly in rural and semi-urban
areas, although some merchants are located in areas with large
Over 25,000 products are available to retailers. Product categories
vary widely; farm accessories, paint and decoration items, pet
food, electricity, plumbing, maple grove accessories, tools, hardware,
horticultural products, seasonal products and construction materials
are all products offered in our catalogue.
The Hardware and Building Materials Department employs more than
170 people to provide services to its merchants. The Operating
Centre located in Trois-Rivières benefits from the most
modern of infrastructures, such as a 130,000 square feet hardware
distribution centre and another just for construction materials
of about 28,000 square feet. The land on which these buildings
were constructed totals 200,000 square feet and also provides
outside storage for materials.
With a 95% delivery rate and average inventory of nearly $10
million, the Department offers a minimum of one delivery per customer,
per week. Over 1,100 private label products are available to its
clientele, either under the CO-OP, Fédécor, Plus-Vert,
Célébrité and Shopmaster brands. The Department
also benefits from an impressive buying power thanks to its association
with pan-Canadian and North American buying conglomerates, such
as Mutual Hardware, Evergreen Construction Materials, Octo Groupe
d’achats, Interprovincial Cooperative (IPCO) and Universal
Cooperatives, among others.
Two large trade shows are organized every year to facilitate
the merchants’ job of selecting products and take advantage
of great discounts. The Coopérama, held in November, provides
space for more than 190 kiosks for spring and summer products.
The April CO-OP show, with over 650 kiosks, offers products for
the fall and winter seasons.
In this era of B2B (Business to Business), the Department developed
a computer platform called InfoTel to communicate with its clientele.
The software, implemented in 1996, is the second generation of
its kind and is installed throughout the CO-OP network. This software
includes programs used for order-taking, merchant customized price
management, direct access to stocks available from the warehouse,
access to warrantee policies, returns processing, invoice transfers,
price updates, etc. All of these hardware and building materials
operations are possible through the Internet.
The Department provides its CO-OP merchants with various marketing
tools. Over 450,000 copies of its flyer are distributed at a rate
of twenty-one times per year. The flyer combines hardware, construction
materials, and horticultural products depending on the season.
The Éco-culteur flyer, issued six times annually and including
a complete guide to farm products, targets farmers directly. A
guide to maple grove products is also available annually. The
Web site www.cfqtr.qc.ca
also provides an additional promotional tool for the CO-OP network.
The Department invests, in collaboration with the members of
the CO-OP network, large sums in the renovation and layout of
its sales areas. The development of a store concept, standard
presentation guidelines for both inside and outside of each store,
as well as signage for all CO-OP outlets within the network reinforce
the banner’s image to its clients and members. The development
of planograms, which are used to manage shelf space and product
categories, greatly facilitate store layouts. These planograms,
completely computer generated, are adapted to the different size
stores and are available on CD-ROM.
With sustained growth, the Hardware and Building Materials Department
intends to improve, on a continuous basis, the availability, the
competitiveness of its offering and the quality of its services.
Teamwork and rigorous cost management ensure the development of
this sector. Continuous improvement is achieved through the development
of competent human resources, accountability and respect at all